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Adobe FrameMaker

The Best Thing I Did This Week

May 17, 2009 • general

runningThis past week I started exercising at lunch—it was the best thing I did all week. Given how sedentary the job of technical writing is, you'd think this would be a no brainer. But in fact, it's not. My company's gym is rarely used. I see just two or three people (out of hundreds) in there during lunch.

While working out, I also listen to podcasts. Lately I'd gotten a bit out of the podcast-listening habit, since I was carpooling with someone who didn't like to take lunch but instead work eight hours straight. After I switched to the bus for transportation (a new bus route opened up in my city), I've been able to embrace a more flexible schedule.

Now that I've been exercising at lunch, I've noticed that I have a lot more energy in the afternoons. I'm not a big exercise guru by any means. I mostly run a little, lift a little, and jump up and down on a small ledge (in an effort to someday dunk a basketball). But the break refreshes my mind, gives me a change of pace, and allows me to feel alive again (unlike the numbness that sets in from sitting in an office chair all day).

This lunchtime hour provides me the only practical time for working out, because when I get home in the evenings, it's so much harder to go for a run with three kids, a wife, dinner, and exhaustion. In contrast, after working for about four hours, I'm ready for a break, and running on a treadmill doesn't look so bad.

If you have an opportunity to work out at lunch, definitely do it. Working out also gives you a perfect opportunity to listen to podcasts. In fact, I can't imagine working out without a podcast. It would be like driving a car without a radio—doable, but not very fun.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.